After the revelation this week that Tata has shelved plans to introduce the Indica Vista electric car model into the UK (see story), Tata has revealed more details of its future plans for alternative-fuel vehicles in the country, as the Indian firm continues to build its presence here.
Plans to launch the Indica Vista EV have indeed been ditched, and test models, some of which took part in the recently completed CABLED trial in the West Midlands (see story), are now expected to be given to Tata employees for twelve months as part of further tests. Despite this, the Indian car giant, which owns the British brands Jaguar and Land Rover, has no plans to launch an electric car in the UK until 2014 at the earliest.
Electric commercial in production
However, Tata has already gone into production with its new ACE electric commercial vehicle, which it unveiled at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham last week.
Currently the firm is making around ten vehicles a week of the new model at its production facilities in Coventry, with strong demand reported for the model. With a payload of up to 500kg, the Ace EV is designed in four derivatives; Chassis Cab, Drop Side Mini Truck, Box van and Tipper with optional cage.
Just 3,800mm long, the Ace EV is designed for workplace operation and benefits from a tight turning circle of 8.6 metres. It has a maximum speed of 25mph and a range of 30 miles.
There are plans for a second electric commercial vehicle to be launched next year.
Tata also has produced prototype hydrogen fuel cell vehicles based on the Indica car model, which are currently being tested in the West Midlands. The hydrogen-fuelled cars have a range of around 300 miles to a full tank and are believed to have a top speed that exceeds that of the old battery-powered Indica Vista EVs (which had a top speed of 71mph).
Faye has been writing about cars and environmental issues since 2007. A suspected eco-warrior working on the corporate inside, Faye mainly likes the weird, quirky vehicles that show a distinct environmental advantage. Her ideal car has enough room to fit a bale of hay in the boot. When not working, she likes nothing better than to head out on her bicycle and explore the countryside.
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